Conjure spirits with a French 75.

The inspiration is the TV show American Horror Story: Coven. The cocktail is the French 75, it’s the drink of choice for Witch Supreme Fiona Goode (Lange) and Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau (Basset).  I’ve enjoyed watching the beguiling duo sip cocktails and finesse their way through a season of horrors.

Legend says the French 75 earned its name from the 75-mm M1897, a small portable cannon used by the French during WWI.  Much like the cannon, the French 75 has a delicate appearance that belies its powerful punch. After WWI, returning soldiers brought the cocktail to the US.

Although myth says it originated in the battlefield, the truth tells a different story.  It is suspected that the cocktail was created around 1915 by Patrick McGarry, a bartender at Bucks Club, London. In 1919, Harry MacElhone of Harry’s American Bar, Paris, first published the recipe for a French 75 in The ABCs of Mixing Cocktails.  In his book, MacElhone gives credit to McGarry for inventing the cocktail.McGarry’s French 75 was a variation of the Tom Collins, replacing  the Collins’ club soda with champagne. Like the Collins, it was served over ice in what we now call a Collins glass. The modern version is served in a champagne flute without ice.
>French 75
1 oz. gin
1/2 oz simple sugar
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice5 oz. brut champagne

In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, sugar, and lemon juice. Add cracked ice and shake vigorously.  Fill a Collins glass with ice.  Strain gin mixture.  Top with champagne.  This is my favorite way to drink gin.  I prefer it poured ice; the cocktail stays colder longer, making it crisp and refreshing.

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